Volunteer Spotlight: Andrea Reinohttps://empoweringchampions.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/andrea-grad.jpg768384Champions Empowering ChampionsChampions Empowering Champions//empoweringchampions.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/LogoNoBackground3.png
Touching the Future through Mentoring and Teaching
Back in the good old days when Squad Nights could be held in person, attendees could not help but notice a young woman carrying a camera, snapping photographs of the events’ high points. Over the past year, many of the photos that have appeared in this newsletter were taken by Andrea Reino, who has long pursued her love of photography. “I bought my first real camera five years ago,” she says. “Then I bought another a few years later and then another this past November.” Her focus is on photographing major life milestones from engagements to maternity portraits to newborn photos to a first birthday.
Photography is just one of Andrea’s passions. Above all, she takes great pleasure in helping others clear life’s hurdles, a mission that is proving invaluable to many Student Champions. As a Squad Leader, she bonded with Markisha (Kisha) Mehide, who was recognized for receiving her bachelor’s degree in accounting during Champions’ online summer graduation ceremony. Kisha calls Andrea “inspiring” and thanks her for many types of assistance, including Andrea’s borrowing an old accounting textbook from a coworker’s office to review some homework assignments with Kisha.
Born and raised in Boca Raton, Andrea attended Pine Crest School from pre-K through 12th grade, graduating in 2005 in a class that included Adam Gordon, son of Champions’ founding board chair Jeff Gordon. As an FAU freshman, she set her sights on a biology degree, but soon switched to accounting after her mother suggested she also take a few business courses. “I’m a science/math brain person,” she says. “My first accounting class was taught by Dr. Dunn. I loved everything about it from the first day and immediately switched my major to accounting.”
Kim Dunn was quick to recognize Andrea’s academic talents, organizational skills and leadership gifts. She advised Andrea to enter the Accounting Scholars Program, which offers outstanding students the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously. Andrea excelled in the program and was named Student of the Year in 2011. Among the contributions she made to other FAU students was serving as a math tutor at the campus Athletic Center and a teaching assistant for Dr. Dunn. “I love being able to help students,” she says.
Andrea graduated from the Accounting Scholars Program in May 2011. After considering going to law school, she took Kim’s advice to study and sit for the national CPA exam, which she passed in March 2012. She was licensed in 2013. Shortly after graduation, Andrea was named coordinator of the Accounting Scholars Program, and she also became an instructor in the College of Business, teaching several undergraduate accounting classes. Additionally, she served as faculty advisor to FAU’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor society for students in accounting, finance, and information systems. Andrea has been firmly rooted in an accounting career since then, working for several well-known accounting firms before joining ADT, a publicly traded security company based in Boca Raton, in 2015. She originally handled SEC reporting and technical accounting responsibilities, including taking part in the company’s IPO in 2018. She is currently a Senior Manager in the Accounting department, focusing on the finance and accounting implications of mergers and acquisitions in which ADT is involved.
During her busy career, Andrea received a text message from Kim suggesting that they get together to “catch up.” Over a quick bite to eat, Kim told Andrea about the launch of Champions and asked her if she would like to become a charter member of the advisory board. “Yes, of course,” Andrea replied, “whatever I can do to help.”
“I am forever grateful that Andrea and I connected in a class of more than 200 students just over a decade ago,” Kim says. “She has come to my rescue professionally and personally on more occasions that I can remember. She is the perfect mix of dependability, ambition, passion, and compassion. Andrea inspires me and everyone around her to be healthier, organized and the absolute best version of themselves.”
In addition to serving as a Squad Leader, Andrea is a member of Champions’ Marketing and Development Committee. At home, she is the proud mother of Maverick, a four-year-old Maltese she adopted from a rescue organization in December several months after her beloved dog Darwin died. In her commitment to animals and people, Andrea is always focused on helping – just as her camera is focused on recording events worth remembering.